The 20th plenary meeting held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain from 18 to 20 November 2014, was chaired by the Republic of Iraq, represented by H.E. Dr. Ali Mohsen Ismail, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq and Mr. Adel Al Qulish, MENAFATF Executive Secretary.
The meeting was attended by AML/CFT experts representing the following member countries (Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania and Yemen) and by the following observer countries as well as regional and international organizations (Palestine, Republic of France, United Kingdom, United States of America, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Financial Action Task Force, Arab Monetary Fund and Eurasia Group).
The plenary discussed throughout the sessions a series of important topics and concerns in the area of AML/CFT and issued the following decisions:
The plenary meeting decided that the Sultanate of Oman should assume the presidency in 2015 with the State of Qatar assuming the Vice Presidency.
The plenary meeting discussed and adopted Manama declaration issued on 9 November 2014 on how to combat the financing of terrorism and urged member countries to work and cooperate towards the full implementation.
The MENAFATF welcomes Somalia as a new observer country.
The Plenary meeting adopted the procedures and the timeline of the 2nd round of mutual evaluations on the compliance of members with the international standards regarding money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation.
The plenary congratulated the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates for the significant progress made in addressing the AML/CFT deficiencies as identified earlier and based on the recommended action plan established in their mutual evaluation reports. The plenary meeting adopted the follow up reports and approved to be moved from regular follow up to biennial update; the reports will be soon published on the website.
Within the framework of the follow up for the mutual evaluation processes, the plenary meeting adopted 6 follow-up reports for the following countries: Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon and Mauritania. The reports reflected the progress made by those countries in improving their AML/CFT regimes in light of the recommended action plan established in the mutual evaluation reports adopted earlier.
The plenary meeting heard the first update report of Bahrain covering the recent developments and measures taken to improve the AML/CFT regime.
The Plenary adopted the Mutual Evaluation Working Group (MEWG) and the Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group (TATWG) Chair reports; Both reports include the recommendations as developed and decided in the WG meetings held on Monday 17 November 2014 on the margin of the plenary meeting.
The plenary meeting adopted the translated Arabic Version of the Methodology for Assessing Technical Compliance with the FATF Recommendations and the effectiveness of AML/CFT regime.
The plenary meeting discussed the procedures proposed to follow up the Voluntary Tax Compliance (VTC) program with members and approved the principles stated therein. The plenary discussed as well Morocco Report on the contribution in full discharge for assets and cash held abroad and the program was found to be consistent with FATF principles on VTC.
The 10th FIUs forum was held on Sunday 16 November 2014 on the margin of the plenary meeting; the most important issues are summarized below:
The plenary meeting adopted the typologies report (biennial) which sets out the most significant case studies provided by the members. The report will be available soon on the website.
- MENAFATF Presiding Country for 2015
- MANAMA declaration on combating the financing of terrorism
- Somalia application to obtain observer status
- Procedures and timeline of the 2nd round of mutual evaluations:
- The Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates move from regular follow up to biennial update:
- Follow up reports:
- First Update report for the Kingdom of Bahrain
- Working Groups:
- Methodology for Assessing Technical Compliance with the FATF Recommendations and the effectiveness of AML/CFT regime (Arabic Version).
- Voluntary Tax Compliance Program
- 10th MENAFATF Financial Intelligence Units Forum:
- Encourage and follow-up the applications of FIUs to join the Egmont Group.
- Exchange of expertise through presentations on Best Practices on “Strategic Analysis in the FIUs”.
- Adopt the study on FIUs regional cooperation within the MENA region.
- Presentations on AML/CFT case studies.
- FIU relation with other Working Groups within the MENAFATF.
- Biennial Typologies Report: